Both people or parties are capable of suing and being charged in the sense of tort law. It is possible to sue someone who is of sound mind and is not excluded by statute. Since the law of tort was based on the trials, there were also limitations placed on parties to sue.
Who can sue?
If they are of sound mind and are not excluded by law, any reasonable person, including businessman, corporation, government and other individuals, may sue.
Who cannot sue?
There are seven types of people unable to sue, subject to such restrictions only:
HUSBAND AND WIFE:
In English law, back in time, a husband and a wife should not sue. A wife will sue her husband on the grounds of the Married Women’s Property Act, 1882 The husband can’t sue his wife, however. A wife has not been willing to sue her husband for antenuptial or personal misconduct. A dramatic change was made by the law reform (husband and wife) Act 1962 and allowed both to sue. In India, both partners are entitled to sue for any offense.
The person of the enemy nationality or residing in the enemy territory is an alien enemy. Such an individual has no right to sue for wrongdoing. Under English law, a person does not retain the right to sue unless approved by a council order. Under Indian law, a person cannot retain his right to sue unless he obtains permission from the central government under section 83
of the Code of Civil Procedure.
Situation- A being a citizen of an enemy country and wants to sue B who is citizen of India. He is not allowed to do so unless he obtains central government’s permission.
INFANT AND MINORS:
In the event that a minor commits a tort, a minor is responsible in the same way as a major. A minor can sue an adult, but only through an adult acting on the minor’s behalf. A breach of a contractual obligation cannot, however, give rise to a suit in tort. A parent is responsible for a tort which he orders his kid to commit. When conditions warrant the presumption that he was a
party to it, either by precedent consent or by continuing to enjoy its fruits with knowledge of the material truth, he is therefore unanswerable for the tort of his infant.
However, his responsibility does not exist beyond this. However, if a father places a dangerous instrument in his young child’s hands and ‘encourages and agrees to its negligent use,’ he can be held responsible for the injurious consequences. In this case, if the young person is the offspring of another person, the parent would be equally responsible because it is understood that the responsibility in such situations is not with regard to his relationship with the minor but with regard to his own exercise of due care.
Walker v/s Great Northern Railways- In this scenario, a pregnant woman was injured as a result of a train crash that caused her child to be born deformed. The Court ruled that, since he was in his mother’s womb, the minor did not retain a remedy for the damage suffered. But in a case with identical evidence, the remedy was granted to the child by the supreme court of Canada
A convict is a person against whom the court of law has pronounced a judgment of death or imprisonment. A convict is a person against whom the court of law has pronounced a judgment of death or imprisonment. Under English law, a person whose term has not expired is not entitled to sue for any harm to his or her property or for restitution. But the criminal justice act
of 1948 abolished this definition.
In India, until 1921, the defendant was disabled from the right to sue for any injury in the offence of forfeiture of the land. Under the English law, a convicted person, in spite of his imprisonment, retains all civil rights which are not taken away expressly or by necessary implication.
Situation 1- Until 1921, if A is a convict and tries to sue B for property damages, in that case he will not sue the person for the crime of forfeiture of the property.
Situation 2- If A is a prisoner who tries to sue B for property or body injury after the 1921 IPC amendments, he has the right to sue for both property and body injury.
The disability to sue for the act against his property often requires a bankrupt. According to Indian law, all of his property is assigned to the bank or official assignee and all of his property is assigned to the trustee under English law. The right to action is given to the trustee or the assignee for any violations against the land. But in the case of personal injustice, the
plaintiff has a right to sue.
In a case where both the person and the property are harmed by a tort, the right of action would be divided between the two.
Situation 1- If A being a bankrupt and his property is transferred to the official assignee’s custody, i.e., C with the bank. If B infringes his estate, the right of action shall be vested in the formal assignee, i.e., C.
Situation 2- But if B trespasses the body of A, then the right of action is vested in A in that case.
In England, unless the action is recognized by her majesty, a foreign state cannot be sued in any court. In India, a foreign state may have the right to sue under section 84 of the Civil Procedure Code, provided that such a state has been recognized by the central government.
A corporation does not have the right to sue for personal injuries because it is obvious because of its existence that a company should not be personally harmed, but a company can sue for the damage that affects its property.
• In nature, misconduct must not be unthinkable.
• In the case of defamation, the company can sue the other party if it
can show that the harm threatens to cause real damage.
• A corporation may sue for a libel or any wrong that affects its
properties or company.
Manchester v/s Williams- In this case, not just for the property but also for its personal integrity, it was held that a company has the right to sue.
WHO CANNOT BE SUED?
If they themselves agree to the jurisdiction of the local government, a foreign sovereign may not be sued. Through living in a foreign country, one does not waive the local government’s right to jurisdiction. Under the Code of Civil Procedure, the Indian court can sue a foreign sovereign only with he approval of the central government.
The conditions under which permission is granted by the Central Government-
• Where the international sovereign has brought a complaint against the claimant in court.
• Whether, by himself or by an associate, the foreign sovereign is trading within the local limits of the Indian court.
• Where the immovable properties of a foreign sovereign over which the claimant wishes to sue are situated in India.
As per Ss. provisions. 86 and 87 of the CPC, without the permission of the central government, an action against a foreign sovereign is only permissible if the applicant is a tenant under a foreign sovereign and the action relates to the land owned by him. Or else, the central government’s permission is compulsory and, where the government’s permission has been sought and denied, it is not open to the court to challenge the ownership of the order denying consent.
Situation- A wants B, a foreign sovereign, to be sued. Only by taking authorization from the central government he may sue.
If they waived their right by submitting to the court’s jurisdiction, foreign ambassadors, their spouses, servants too, should not be sued. During his term in office, an ambassador will not be sued. In the Indian court, foreign ambassadors can only be tried with the permission of the central government.
Harbhajan Singh Dhalla v/s U.O.I- In this case, the petitioner carried out the repair, reconditioning and renovation of the buildings at the Algerian Embassy and at the Algerian Ambassador’s residence in New Delhi. He attempted to obtain his dues, but failed, and then demanded permission from the Ministry of External Affairs to sue the Embassy of Algeria. The
Ministry declined to grant permission on “political grounds” and also argued that the petitioner had failed to make a prima facie argument under section 86.
Such a person cannot be prosecuted if an action is committed by a lunatic
person while such a person is not in the state of a sound mind. However, if,
during a period of time when he/she is in a stable mental state, an
otherwise lunatic individual commits an action, then such a person may be
sued for tortious conduct. For instance, if a person ‘A’ has a disease
because of which he becomes mentally ill for chunks of time, but when he
commits battery against B, he is mentally stable, then A will be liable to be
Situation 1- When A commits battery against B when he is not in a
stable state of mind. He can’t get sued.
Situation 2- If A has a condition in which he becomes lunatic for some
time, but after some time, becomes a normal person. If, when he is regular,
he commits battery against B. In that case, it is possible to sue A.
It was not allowed by common law to sue a married woman or to be sued
alone. If she was an acceptable party to the action, her husband had to be
united with her. The fact that he was entitled to her property rested on this
provision. Any recovery or damage to the person or estate of the wife will
belong to the husband and he should have sued him with his wife as co-plaintiff, either as a single plaintiff or joint.
An exception was made in favor of the wife by the Married Women’s
Property Act, 1882, under which the wife could sue her husband as if she
were unmarried in an action for the safety and security of her separate
property. The Law Reform (Husband and Wife) Act, 1962, under which the
doctrine of common law was abandoned and either partner could now sue
the other in the same way as if they were not married, introduced further
modifications in England.
As this doctrine does not prevail, the situation in India with regard to the
implementation of this common law doctrine of the husband and wife
constituting one person in the eye of the law is very different. Hence,
without the intervention of this doctrine, a Hindu, a Sikh, a Jain, or a Muslim
woman may sue or be sued in respect of her separate property.
The husband is not eligible to be a party to the tort action against the wife.
English common law, however, is extended with respect to Christians. The
Married Women’s Property Act, 1874, in which the married women to whom
the Act refers could sue and be sued alone, also abolished this anomaly to
Furthermore, Article 14 of the Constitution of India provides for a guarantee
against arbitrariness and unreasonableness, the operation of which
guarantees that marriage does not affect the rights and responsibilities of
the partners in respect of any offense committed by them or by a third
These bodies have a distinct legal identity and may be sued if an act is
performed on behalf of the company by any of its servants. Private
companies which sue and be punished for wrongdoing, and the laws
regulating such acts are essentially those applicable to such actions by or
against natural persons. These firms are entitled to sue for damages
caused to them by a libel, given that the slander is against them as an
artificial individual and not against their staff or agents as individual.
It is now well known that if a company does not have a specific body to be
confiscated, it has a property that can be attached to or assessed on. If
charitable companies are part of the state’s government apparatus, they
are therefore not responsible for the offenses of their officers and servants.
A charitable organization, if it has exercised due care in its selection, is not
liable in tort for accidents incurred by doctors, staff or servants, but is liable
for corporate fraud and negligence.
Poulton v. London and S.W. Rly. Company- The railway master was hired
by the defendant corporation, arrested a man for not paying the horse he
carries with him the freight charges. A lawsuit against the company was
brought by the petitioner. It was concluded that the railway master was only
employed to detain the person if the person did not pay for the freight
himself. No order to arrest an individual was issued to him if he did not pay
the freight charges for the goods carried by him.
There is no action against a public officer in his official capacity with regard
to the crimes committed by him. But, in their private capacity, they can be
sued for the act committed by them. No action lies against the government
if the act of the servant of the government is carried out under sovereign
U.O.I v/s Bhagwati Prasad- In this scenario, the train collides with a cab.
Bhagwati prasad files a complaint for these against the U.O.I, of
negligence. It was held that, in their private capacity, a claim for damages
could be made against the act of the official, but not for the act carried out
under sovereign authority.
In India, a registered trade union cannot be sued under the Indian Trade
Union Act, 1926. But the revisions to the Act of 1939 now authorize a trade
union to be sued under its registered name.
If an offence is committed by one of the members of a labour union called
Situation 1- ABC will not be sued as per the Trade Union Act, 1926.
Situation 2- ABC could have sued after reforms in 1939.
INFANT OR MINOR:
In the event that a minor commits a tort, a minor is responsible in the same
way as a major. A minor can sue an adult, but only through an adult acting
on the minor’s behalf. A breach of a contractual obligation cannot, however,
give rise to a suit in tort. A parent is responsible for a crime that he directs
his child to commit. When conditions warrant the presumption that he was
a party to it, either by precedent consent or by continuing to enjoy its fruits
with knowledge of the material truth, he is therefore unanswerable for the
tort of his infant.
However, his duty may not exist beyond this. However, if a father places a
dangerous instrument in the hands of his young child and promotes and
agrees to its negligent use, he can be held responsible for the injurious
consequences. In this case, if the young person is the child of another
person, the parent would be equally liable because it is understood that the
responsibility in such cases is not with regard to his relationship with the
minor but with regard to his own exercise of due care.
Walmsley v/s Humonick- Two little boys played games related to cowboys.
The arrow was struck by one boy and another boy hit his eye. As a fiveyear-old kid doesn’t even think about it, the court gives the decision in the
defendant’s favor. The defendant is also not responsible.
In the exercise of their powers, they cannot be found liable in tort for the
nonfeasance or misfeasance of their officers. Therefore, a city council’s
inability to enact laws banning the usage of sidewalks for bicycles or
suppressing nuisance would not subject the authority to any tort action.
The blunders of its judicial officers cannot be traced to the State’s account,
nor would the State be liable to respond to the harm caused by incorrect
street sewer plans and related work.
According to Article 361 of the Indian Constitution, the President, the
Governor and the State of Rajpramukha are not liable to the court:
- For exercise and execution of their office’s power and duties.
- For any act committed by them in the exercise of their authority and
Situation 1- If A, a police officer, gives the lathi charge order during the
riots. B got hurt in that process and sued A. A is not responsible here
because he is operating under sovereign authority.
Situation 2- If A, on behalf of the state, a government servant
wrongfully restores the property of B. Here, the government is responsible
for restoring the estate.
An injured person has the right to bring a lawsuit against the person who
caused him harm, but there are some types of persons who are unable to
sue a person for their loss, and there are also some individuals who are
unable to sue any entity, such as foreign ambassadors, public officials,
children, sovereigns, alien enemies. But there are some restrictions where,
subject to the consent of the central government, these types of persons
can sue and can be sued, and unless they themselves waived their right by
submitting to the court’s jurisdiction.
Because someone who is of sound mind and not excluded by statute can
sue, the parties referred to above are parties with respect to whom, there
are certain limits on who they can sue or whether they can be sued. While
the law on married women has changed over time, there are still other
limitations on different parties.
In determining whether a lawsuit stands before a court of law or not, the
right to sue and be sued is very significant. There are limits on the right to
sue and be sued to cater to factors such as good relations with different
nations (foreign sovereign and ambassadors), alignment with one’s own
nation’s foreign policy (alien enemy), facilitation of efficiency in preserving
law and order (municipality, state and central government), and justice
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